The Most Effective Way to Create and Stick with Your New Year’s Resolutions
The New Year signifies a time when most of us are ready to turn the pages in our lives to begin a brand new chapter. We are presented with a new set of 365 pages to continue writing the story of our lives.
A brand new year offers the promise of a better tomorrow. We are given another chance to improve ourselves and make progress in all our endeavors. It offers an opportunity to start afresh and recalibrate ourselves for new goals and missed opportunities from the previous years.
Yet many studies have shown that although most people start off the year filled with a sense of hope and enthusiasm regarding what they want to accomplish in the upcoming year, their efforts to act on it gradually falls short within the first couple of months.
To witness this phenomenon for yourself, just pay a visit to any gym in the month of January and you will notice a steady decline in members as the month progresses!
Why is it that so many people find it challenging to stick with their resolutions? The biggest and most common reasons are the lack the focus, discipline and motivation to realize their resolutions.
The good news is that with the right perspective and tools, this challenge can be easily overcomed.
We can begin creating this internal shift by firstly crystallizing our vision for what we want to manifest in our lives and then backing it up with a strong enough “why” i.e. the reason why we are so passionate about accomplishing this vision.
All of this can seem overwhelming to consider at first. Fortunately in today’s progressive times where personal and spiritual growth is embraced by most people, there are a variety of techniques available to us which can be instrumental in giving form to our desires and intentions.
Here are a few specific steps that you can take to begin the process of formulating clear and meaningful New Year’s Resolutions that you would be able to stick with:
1. Review the previous year: Before you can begin planning for the forthcoming year, you need to take the time to reflect and review all that has passed and figure out how it’s placed within the tapestry of your life experiences. Based on your review, make some notes about the things that you would like to change such as a lifestyle or behavior pattern, your career or financial status or your personal relationships.
2. Look at the Big Picture of your life: It’s so easy to be caught up in the minutiae of daily living and forget how it all ties up with the big picture of our life. To avoid this we need to get a clear sense of what it is that we really want to create in our lives. I have found that one of the effective ways of doing this is by creating a vision board- a collage of images representing all the dream ideas that you have. You can either create this collage at home with a physical corkboard and images or use online tools such as Dreamboards. Dreamboards give you an instant snapshot of the vision you have for your life.
3. Set goals and create a game plan: Based on a combination of your evaluation of the previous year and your Big Picture perspective, you can proceed to create goals for the upcoming year. You could either create goals for each specific area of your life such as your career, finances, relationships, family, health, etc. Alternatively you can create a few general goals that you would like to accomplish.
4. Create systems and structure: This is where the rubber meets the road. Setting goals is like finding your aim and taking action is like pulling the trigger. It is essential to set aside dedicated time every day towards achieving your dreams. Achieving your goals is not something that happens overnight. It requires deliberate and consistent efforts that will gradually yield the results that you desire. You could either use a daily planner or an Excel spreadsheet to write down your strategy.
5. Stay motivated: There is a possibility that your enthusiasm towards achieving your resolutions might dip when your efforts don’t get immediate results or your expectations are not being met. It’s during these times that you need that boost of inspiration to keep the momentum going. There are a variety of ways that you can stay motivated such as speaking with friends, coach or mentor who can give you support and hold you accountable, acknowledging and rewarding yourself for mini-successes along the way, repeating affirmations while visualizing your goals or simply glancing at your Dreamboard.
As an achiever, you know that you were meant to accomplish great things in your life and that almost always requires continual effort to improve and step up your game. Legendary motivation speaker, Jim Rohn said it best: “Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better with change!”